Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) announced Thursday that it has filed a lawsuit against Verizon (NYSE: VZ) in federal court for the Eastern District of New York, alleging that the telecom made false and misleading claims about the MSO's Wi-Fi service in ads.
Verizon has run TV and radio commercials in the New York metropolitan area claiming its Wi-Fi is "the fastest Wi-Fi available" from any local provider.
"Verizon's claim that it has faster Wi-Fi than Cablevision is false, deceptive and designed to mislead consumers," a Cablevision statement reads. "Verizon has no public Wi-Fi network. In addition, Verizon's in-home routers are not faster than Optimum Smart Routers and cost Verizon customers hundreds of dollars while Optimum's are free. It is not a coincidence that Verizon is making false Wi-Fi claims just as Cablevision is introducing its all-Wi-Fi Freewheel phone, which will allow consumers to avoid Verizon's data caps and excessive data overage fees."
In response, a Verizon spokesperson told FierceCable: "We have not the seen the lawsuit, but this is a boldface ploy to promote Cablevision's latest wireless gambit. A third party has tested and validated the FiOS Quantum Gateway Router. It offers the fastest in-home Wi-Fi available from any provider. As usual, Cablevision is confusing consumers by using apples to oranges comparisons, in this case of in-home and public Wi-Fi."
Cablevision's aggressive rollout of public Wi-Fi--it has around 1.1 million hotspots now--and its just-announced entry into the mobile calling market have increased its level of competitive its level of competitive engagement in the New York/New Jersey area.
Earlier this week, Cablevision announced the very first all Wi-Fi calling service, Freewheel.
"This is yet another in a long line of Verizon advertising falsehoods designed to fool the public and we are calling on the court to stop Verizon. Cablevision is taking this legal action so that consumers will no longer be misled and can make informed decisions based on the facts."
- read this Cablevision press release
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